A Late Adopter’s Audition for the Anti-Self-Help Bandwagon

Most of us could use some wise advice. Most of us distrust forced positivity and new age pabulum. Thus we see the rise of the anti-self-help guru, a writer who gets to have it both ways and be raw without sacrificing authority. The ASHG gives you the whole truth, not just the good parts. When they reassure you that things can be better, you trust them, because you know that they have suffered.

Penelope Trunk worked this angle for awhile before she got too depressing to really qualify. James Altucher has been doing it brilliantly for years and has spawned conspicuous imitators. Mark Manson is the hot ASHG of the moment.

Since it seems like a good way to make a quick buck, I decided I’d try my hand at it. Let’s see how it goes.

Fuck you.

Okay! I think I might be phoning it in here. There’s no way it could be this easy. Let’s try putting a little bit more of my own flavor into it. The secret sauce that only I can add is the flavor the readers will savor.

4, 3, 2…

ashgI have some good news and bad news. The good news is that the bad things you think about yourself and the bad things other people say about you aren’t accurate. The bad news is that the truth is way worse. It’s worse than you can imagine, because you aren’t smart or creative enough to really visualize how bad it is.

People are afraid to tell you this because they want to be nice, but there’s not much to like or trust about you. Fortunately, there’s not much reason to think about you in the first place, since you are, in truth, a boring and forgettable mediocrity.

There is a voice in your head telling you not to take risks and to avoid putting yourself out there or asking the world for what you need. Listen to this voice. It is smarter than you, and it is trying to protect you from humiliating yourself.

You don’t have any special skills. You are too weak and lazy to put in the required 10,000 Hours To Mastery. Don’t sweat it too hard. Someone else will take care of whatever needs to be done, and that person is more qualified and competent to do it.

The most useful thing you can do is to get out of the way.

Doesn’t that feel good? This worked out pretty well for you, when you think about it. You’re getting off relatively easy. Now you don’t have to do anything. You’re off the hook. You can relax. You can call in sick and stay home. You can go back to doing what you normally do, which is to take up space, behave awkwardly and without charm, and die by installments.

You can make those checks out to “Emerson Dameron.”

1 Comment

  1. Perfection! My favorite response when asked what I “do?”
    Hmmm, “Well, actually, I enjoy watching quite a bit of TV (Law & Order SVU of course), do some laundry, take naps. Oh, and I have entirely too many cats and a couple of dogs. And I’m in a relationship with Mariska Hargitay, by the way, although she’s not aware of it.”
    Or there’s always the optional, “I’m actually a high dollar prostitute, and it costs $1000 to even carry on a conversation.”


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